March 25, 2016: Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has planned to implement Equipment Identity Registration (EIR) system with which every handset has to be registered to be operational in Nepal. Currently the cellphone traders can sell mobile phones after taking Type approval from NTA. It is known that NTA is preparing interim guidelines to implement EIR system, that will enforce mobile phone traders, dealers and even individuals to register the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number (unique identifier for each handsets) at NTA or custom offices.
As of now, individuals or small companies or online traders are selling phones in the country without any authorization by the official distributor or dealers. The handsets that could not be available in the country, are brought now by individuals either for personal use or for selling in small numbers. Till now those phones are not regulated and no legal binding is necessary. Such market of phone are often termed as Grey market or parallel market.
NTA believes that the new directives will reduce grey market of phones along with the reduction of criminal activities through the phones. Even the regulator can easily lock the lost phones, securing the privacy of the customer.
The interim directives is known to implement from New year but the procedure for registration and phone lost complain in NTA is not known yet. The registration fee (if high) will discourage individuals for bringing handsets from abroad.